Things to do on your Verona Opera package
Verona has many wonderful historical buildings to visit, many of which are attributed to opera, Romeo & Juliet (as Verona is the setting for Shakespeare’s tragic love story), or both. A Verona Pass Card provides you free access to most of the local sites, so it makes sense to know exactly what is worth seeing!
Your first stop should be to the open-air Arena, which each year from mid-June to early September houses some of the finest opera performances in this age-old setting. Built in 79AD the acoustics are incredible, and access during the day means you can properly take in your surroundings, before the stage is transformed for the evening’s performance for the highlight of your Verona opera break. There is also a gift shop for anyone wanting the libretto, a recording of the opera, or general souvenirs.
Move several streets behind the arena to Palazzo Forti to the setting for the Arena’s Museum which has over 30 rooms dedicated to historical documentaries and explains the creative process which sees each opera brought to the stage. The museum exhibits many librettos, photographs, letters, scores, sketches, set design and costumes for you to view.
Next, stroll to Juliet’s balcony and imagine yourself transported into the pages of Shakespeare’s classic novel. The archway leading into the courtyard has many messages on the walls from lovers, and also has a statue of Juliet which is meant to be lucky for lovers.
In keeping with the story, travelling down beyond the Arena is Juliet’s house, which you can easily spend an hour wandering through the rooms, looking at the paintings and even visit Juliet’s crypt.
Moving back towards the Arena just over the river is the Natural History Museum. This is somewhat of a tardis as looks quite small, but once inside you will be pleasantly surprised at just how much is on offer. It is worth allowing a good few hours for this, before a well earned lunch. Be aware though – you will be spoilt for choice as Verona is full of fantastic dining options on most corners!
Wandering north with your much needed gelato which Italy is famous for, take in Piazza d’erbe, the outside market. Here you can purchase food or souvenirs, and if you feel refreshed enough and up for a challenge, climb the steps up the Lamberti Tower for that panoramic view over Verona. You can also pay for the lift and save your tired limbs!
Next on your list we recommend the Scaliger Castle – Castelvecchio. Again, same as the Natural History Museum, it is worth allowing a few hours as there are plenty of exhibits to view, along with a not to be missed walk along the top of the battlements.
Finally, Italy would not be Italy without a wealth of beautiful churches and not to be undone Verona has one cathedral and two churches. All are worth a visit; however, the Church of San Fermo is of particular interest as the church is built on three levels! There is the crypt, then the main church which was used as a place of worship for Verona’s poor. Finally above both these two levels is the current church where the upper class came to pray. The overall effect gives this church a very different feel to the norm and is wholly unexpected!
Please note the Verona Pass provides free access to most of these sites, however, it is always worth checking beforehand as whilst access to the sight is free, there can be a small cost for visiting the Lamberti Tower, the Arena Museum and if you want to stand on Juliet’s Balcony. These are minimal however.
The above showcases why Verona is much more than just opera, and will guarantee a magical Verona opera break.